Monday, February 14, 2011

When Wood Attacks! The story.

I have no memory of the piece of wood flinging off the miter saw and rushing towards my head.  Specifically, my face.  I only remember the sound of the saw, and the warm feeling I felt on my cheek afterwards.  I reached up with my hand, and when I looked at it, it was covered in blood.
Faces bleed like nothing else.
I rushed inside, yelling for my husband, Sean, in a voice he terms my “emergency voice”.  I guess that’s kind of like babies – you get to know their cries.  Sean’s learned my yells.  ;)
I ran into the bathroom, where he met up with me, and I was washing the blood away. The ER was inevitable, the cut was too deep.
In the midst of being worried I’d be disfigured for life, my husband does the best thing he could do….kisses me and says he loves me no matter what.
Made a call to my mom, on the way to the emergency room, and she met us there with ice packs in hand.
I have really bad allergies, which have landed me square in the middle of jam-packed emergency rooms before.  Since I had taken benadryl, I suppose in triage, my needs were always less than….oh, say, a heart attack.  But, slice your face open, and whoooo….in the midst of a jam-packed emergency room, it’s like a 15 minute wait.  Max.
I’ll pause here to say that the medical staff at Presbyterian Hospital in Rockwall totally rock.
Let me tell you that getting socked in the face with a flying piece of wood hurts considerably bad.  So, when the nurse asked me on a scale of 1-10, what my pain level was, it was hard not to say, “11″.  (“These go to eleven.”)  This piece of wood didn’t just clock me in the cheek, but also in the nose and teeth.  She asked me how I was feeling otherwise, and I think I said something to the effect of, “I can’t decide if I’m going to pass out, throw up, or both.”  She handed me a bag for one of those.
My blood pressure was only 114/66, so I give myself props for staying calm while bleeding to death.
Upon the doctor coming in to evaluate me, he said it definitely needed stitches.  This terrified me.  It’s one thing to have a wound on your face.  Another to have them want to put a needle around it, too.
He asked when I last had a tetanus shot, and I told him it was over 8 years ago.  He said, “Then today is the day!”
Two rounds of numbing pads on my cheek, and then the doctor was back.  I had a question, “So, doc, how good are you at stitches?”
Come to find out, that ER doctors are better than plastic surgeons at sewing up jagged edged lacerations, like the one I had.  Principally, because it’s what they do most of the time.  Plastic surgeons are good at sewing up scalpel lines – straight and even.  See, you learn something new, every day.
It was time to irrigate the wound, so he needed a few towels.  He paged the nurse, and her reply was, “Yes, sir,” followed by a “Hey, hey” right before she hung up.  I don’t think we were supposed to hear the last part.
The doctor said, very sarcastically, “Hey, hey!  Do you know why he needs towels?  Has he asked for towels before?  Is it surgical or just regular ones?  Did you see him in the supply closet?”
We all busted out laughing.
I was under the impression that the numbing pads would be all I needed.  But when he brought out the needle to inject my face, I reconsidered my thought process.  Three shots of numbing solution into my cheek, I have to say, was probably worse than the excruciating pain I was already in.
He placed the blue cloth over my face, so that only the area he needed to sew up was visible.  He said, “I’m going to place this where you won’t be as claustrophobic.”  I replied, “Dude, I’m going to have my eyes closed, so no worries.”
He let my nose out the little hole, for some fresh air.  I told him that it’s pretty big, so I appreciated that.  My husband said it looked like a shark fin coming out of the water.  And, here I was, trying not to laugh when a dude is stitching my face up.
The doc asked me, at one point, to move my nose out of the way.  When nothing happened, he said, “Well, okay, I’ll just work around it,” with a big sigh.  I tried hard not to laugh, but I couldn’t help it.
The doctor asked me what I did for a living, and I said, “Nothing anymore.  I’m going to be a housewife!”  Since I was being snarky, my husband stepped in to show off pictures of the carves I had on my iPhone.
Only one stitch kind of hurt, but I figured I could get stuck by that horrid injection needle again, or I could just suck it up and take the needle pain for the stitch.  Six of one, half dozen of the other.
All in all, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever been through.  And, I had my mom and husband there to hold my hands.  Not to mention the myriad of texts from my friends and family, concerned, or trying to make me laugh….  ”Do they have her on any good drugs?” one friend asked.  ”They haven’t given her anything but the topical,” my husband replied.  ”She should complain more then….tell her to quit being strong,” she texted back.  ”Sure, then I’ll convince the wind not to blow.”
Sean took his pulse, and his oxygen level was only 96%.  I told the same friend this, in text.
She said, “He is fine, mine is never 100.”
To which I said, “Oh, good.  I figured he was trying to steal my thunder.”
“That would be rude.”
“I know it.  What do I have to do to get attention?”
“I know, you practically cut your face off.”
I love my friends.  :)
Of all the shots, I think the Tetanus shot hurt the worst, to be honest.  But nobody wants Tetanus, so a shot it was.
Instead of being hard on myself, I’m trying to be thankful, saying many prayers:
1) I still have both eyeballs.
2) And, all my teeth.
3) My nose is in tact.
4) The wound follows my natural cheek crease, and the doctor did an outstanding job on the stitches, so all I have to do is keep it clean and let my body heal.
5) I have an outstanding Mom, who drops everything, picking up ice packs on the way, holding my hand and keeping my spirits up while the process was ongoing, and making a grocery run for liquids and soft foods so I can sustain my life today.
6) I have excellent friends that keep me laughing.
7) I have a husband whose only concern is my well being, and not if my face stays pretty.  He not only held my hand through the procedure, he kissed it, too.  He kept me laughing, and supported me.  The vows we said in October rang clear in my head, and I am blessed to have someone who sticks by me in the “worse” times.
The wound actually meets up with the other scar on my nose.  That’s pretty cool.  Nothing like adding even more character to my face.
And, I’ll admit to finishing up some polyurethane on a custom design when I got home from the ER.  But, it is a birthday present, and I wanted to make sure it got in the mail today, so it’ll arrive on time.
Everyone else?  Well, some people will be receiving an email today to see if it’s okay to postpone their delivery by 5 days.  At least until my stitches come out.
Walking back through the garage when I got home, I noticed my workbench was moved backwards and I had knocked over a light.  So, it was a pretty hard hit to knock me backwards.
I’ll be ever thankful.  It could have been a lot worse.

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